A Look Back at 2011

by Kay Lynn

Before making goals for this year, it’s important to take a look back and analyze what worked and didn’t in 2011.  Let’s take a look at what I planned to achieve last year.


Financial Goals

Financial Goal 1: Pay off $24,000 in non-mortgage debt by December 31, 2011. I was behind at the mid-year progress check and never did catch up.  We ended up paying $18,000 of this debt in 2011.

We could have made it but ended up spending $2,500 on a new bedroom set and another $4,000 on our 2012 vacation plans.  However, all this spending was done with cash so I don’t consider this a failure.

Financial Goal 2: Prepare wills for both of us in the first quarter 2011.  For some reason, this is the task that never gets done.  I wonder if it’s psychological — who wants to think about death?  I’ll be tacking this in 2012…again!

Financial Goal 3: Prepare monthly budgets and reconcile every weekend.  In retrospect, there’s no reason to reconcile the budget every week.  We did prepare monthly budgets and reconciled at least once a month.

Personal Goals

Personal Goal 1: Lose 5 pounds a quarter. This is the goal I am most upset about missing. Not only did I fail to lose weight but added more to the total.

It’s impacted my health as I started cholesterol medication last year.  You’ll read more about this in my 2012 plan post next week.

Personal Goal 2: Take Alaskan cruise without accruing any debt. Here’s one goal I can say was an unequivocal success! We enjoyed cruising with our extended family and did it all debt-free.

Not only that, but we also paid for next year’s trip in 2011 including most excursions.

Personal Goal 3: Walk for exercise 3 times a week and build up to half marathon in November. This one is a big fail.  Other than my usual dog walking duties, there wasn’t any exercise going on.  I need to address this as well in my 2012 plans.

Blog Goals

Blog Goal 1: Increase subscriber count to 1,000.  This was an aggressive goal and I didn’t make it.  However, the subscriber count more than doubled in 2011 so I’m very happy with it.  Thank you so much for reading.

Blog Goal 2: Increase blog income to average of $1,000 a month. This one has been a big success.  Blog income averaged about $1,400 a month last year (I haven’t finished my accounting yet).  I put a lot of the money back into the blog for a design, conferences and staff writing but it’s a nice way to finance our annual vacation.

Blog Goal 3: Write 1/3 of the e-book each quarter and publish it in the fourth quarter.  I gave up on the e-book idea for now, but did start a new blog with my sister aptly named Two Savvy Sisters.  It’s grown to 450 subscribers in nine months.

Blog Goal 4: Send out first newsletter 2nd quarter 2011. The timing was off, but the Bucksome Breeze newsletter was launched this past Fall which reminds me it’s time for another edition. 🙂 .


Some people might look at the results and think FAIL.  I look at it and appreciate what was accomplished.

Goals or resolutions are there for us to stretch ourselves and hold one accountable.  Without this list, I might not have accomplished any of it.  How did you do with your 2011 plans?

photo by Sean MacEntee

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krantcents January 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

I look at goals including the ones I missed as a foundation to improve. Unsuccessful people stop or give up when they miss. This was one of the reasons to include one of my 2011 goals in my 2012 goals. Keep it up and good luck!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

Krantcents, I couldn’t agree more. I know I would accomplish so much less without having written down my goals for the year.

janna johnson January 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

I think you did an awesome job with your goals and I love your blog. I’d love to be able to average anywhere close to $100 a month on my blog! I am starting to rebuild after taking a break for school. I’d love any suggestions you have and if you would visit my blog and maybe follow on facebook! Great work!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

Thanks, Janna. It takes time to make money from a blog. Personal finance is a niche that does attract direct advertisers while others don’t have the opportunity.

I have visited your blog and liked your facebook page.

Jackie @ freeismylife January 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

I like reading about the progress of your goals each year. I envy your monthly blogging income. But I am striving to be more like you in blog earnings in 2012 🙂

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

Thanks, Jackie. I’m glad they’re meaningful to others and not just selfish indulgence. 🙂 Good luck with 2012 income!

Aloysa January 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

You did really great in 2011! I feel a little jealous about Alaskan cruise. Always wanted to go. I am off to check out your other site!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

Aloysa, Alaska is beautiful but it rained every day we were there — Victoria, Canada was our only good weather port! I’ve been there before and we decide to enjoy it no matter what the weather.

Dr. Dean January 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Kay, You’re doing a great job. OK, you need to do the exercise thing, but otherwise, you ROCK!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

Dr. Dean, if you didn’t get on me about the exercise I’d be worried about your credentials. 🙂 I definitely plan to get more exercise in this year. I know it’s the best prevention against type two diabetes which runs very strongly in my family.

Maggie@SquarePennies January 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Super job, Kay Lynn! I look at this like a To-Do List. You can cross off quite a few from your list & move some items up on the new list. The important thing is to actually set goals. Great job!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:15 am

Maggie, you are so right. My 2012 goals are set and I’ll be sharing them Monday.

Mandy January 6, 2012 at 8:51 am

I also look at this as more of a to-do list and mine constantly changes throughout the year … but always seems to grow longer 🙂

Great job Kay Lynn …

Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 3, 2012 at 7:18 am

Great job with your goals – I’m glad you got to go on the AK cruise – it’s such a nice place up there. Keep working next year, you’ll finish everything in due time!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

Jeff, thanks for the encouragement. I am very excited about 2012 – to finally get rid of the student loan debt is so exciting!

Money Beagle January 3, 2012 at 7:43 am

Good luck with your goals. We don’t have a will either which is a big no-no since we have kids, but I am still leaning towards doing a trust instead, which is costly and a savings goal for the near-term future, but well worth it.

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

Money Beagle, let’s make a pact to take care of the estate planning in 2012!

MoneyforCollegePro January 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

Awesome goals for 2011 and even better that you crushed some of them. Looking forward to 2012 with you!

Kay Lynn January 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

Moneyfor College Pro, congratulations on your plans for 2012. I’m looking forward to following along with your family changes on your blog.

Suba January 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

We really need to exercise more, you and me. I failed miserably in that goal. Looks like you did great with your other goals. We will both lose weight in 2012! Deal?

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